In the Classroom from Summer 2021

  • Decoding Compost

    Posted by Aurora Meyer, APR on 7/16/2021

    Fun City Students learn about composted material

    Fun City students at Blue Ridge Elementary spent the morning digging through compost and discovering the organic material and the variety of bugs and worms.

    Fun City Students learn about bugs and worms in compost

    The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture provided the compost and the lesson. 

    Fun City Students inspect composted material

    Students used spoons, a magnifying glass and sticks to sort through and identify the types of worms and bugs. The students also worked to determine what the organic material was before it went through the composting process.  

    BRE Fun City Students learn about composted material

    Once they finished the lesson, the students added the compost, bugs and worms to the garden or the school's compost bin. 

    BRE Fun City Students learn about compost

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  • Gentry Sixth Graders Create Video Game

    Posted by Aurora Meyer, APR on 7/13/2021

    Gentry Sixth Graders Create Video Game

    Jennifer Trotter’s 6th Grade Summer School Students at Gentry Middle School created a basic video game in their coding class using the ScratchJr app.

    ScratchJr helps students create if/then statements and sequencing using basic programming blocks.

    Though Ms. Trotter usually teaches French, she said she has enjoyed learning more about video games and coding and seeing her students succeed at storytelling and game creation.

    Students initially created a maze game and had to code their characters to move through the maze. One student created a knight who encounters an ogre, who says, “Yeet.”

    On day two, students picked an object (such as a piece of food or an animal) to fall from the top of the screen and then programmed something at the bottom of the screen to catch it. The final step was adding a score counter.

    The most popular item to fall was cheese balls for a squirrel to catch followed by stars and unicorns.

    Gentry Sixth Graders Create Video Game using App

    Using an App Gentry Sixth Graders Create Video Game

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  • Knife Skills and New Flavors

    Posted by Aurora Meyer, APR on 7/9/2021

    Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary Summer School Kids in the Kitchen

    Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary Summer School Kindergarten students from Amber Gonzalez’s class and Kristen Burkemper’s first Grade students practiced dicing fruit in a recent Kids in the Kitchen class.

     

    The program from MU Extension works with students of various grade levels in several buildings to learn more about cooking, nutrition and healthy living habits.

     

    This class is focused on making healthy choices, trying new things and following directions. In this lesson, students diced strawberries, fresh pineapple, grapes and bananas with a plastic knife before mixing them with vanilla yogurt.

    Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary Kids in the Kitchen knife skills

    Each class lets students practice following directions, taking turns and using their fine motor skills. Students also learn to apply math skills to the cooking time when they measure and compare the ingredients.

     Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary Kids in the Kitchen practicing knife skills

    After sampling their dish and voting with their thumbs, the students enjoyed relay races outside.

    Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary Kids in the Kitchen relay races

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  • Scaling Sharing

    Posted by Aurora Meyer, APR on 7/8/2021

     

    Shepard Boulevard Elementary Summer School first graders making rainbow fish

    Shepard Boulevard Elementary Summer School first graders practiced sharing and collaborating by making their own versions of a Rainbow Fish and sharing scales.

     

    After reading The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister, a book about sharing, the students talked about what it means to make friends and share with CoMoEd recipient Shaylyn Hickem.

     

    This is part of the learning objectives to discuss story elements and creating visual representations of an object including major features.

     

    The students began by using fine motor skills to cut the foil into a circle and gluing it to the fish outline. They then cut the coffee filter they painted the day before into squares and glued the squares to the fish. Once all the squares were pasted to the fish, they cut the fish out and Ms. Hickem helped them add eyes and a mouth.

     

    Students who finished early helped peers complete the project. Those who had extra squares also shared with classmates.

     

    One of the highlights for each student was showing their completed fish and making a fish face.

    Shepard Boulevard Elementary Summer School first grader completed rainbow fish

    SBE Summer School first grader completed rainbow fish

    SBE Summer School first grader rainbow fish project

    Shepard Summer School first grader rainbow fish project

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  • When fire breathing dragons and the Big Bad Wolf comes to the classroom

    Posted by Aurora Meyer, APR on 7/7/2021

    Students working on Fire Breathing Dragons at Cedar Ridge Elementary Summer School

    What started as differentiating between fiction and nonfiction ended with a classroom full of fire-breathing dragons and the Big Bad Wolf blowing down student-constructed houses.

     

    Cedar Ridge Elementary Kindergarten Summer School teachers Miss McIntyre and Mrs. Wilson used fairytales to teach students about story development and characters. While explaining how fiction stories have a beginning, middle, and end and discussing the dragon character, as a group they decided to try to create their own fire-breathing dragons.

     

    The students used a paper towel roll, streamers, and puffballs.  The paper towel roll was the body of the dragon, the streamers represented the fire, and the puffballs represented the nose and eyes. The students then used markers to color their dragons before testing the fire and pretending to wreak havoc on the classroom.

     

    The next fairytale challenge was for the students to build a house with toothpicks and fruit snacks that would outlast the wolf of “The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf” fame.

     

    Miss McIntyre and Mrs. Wilson tested the strength of each of the houses with a blow-dryer featuring the face of “The Big Bad Wolf.”

     

    Students were very engaged in both units and the laughter could be heard outside the classroom.

    Cedar Ridge Elementary Summer School Students working on Fire Breathing Dragons

     

    Cedar Ridge Elementary Summer School Kindergarteners creating a fire breathing dragon

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  • Creating Dinosaurs at Cedar Ridge Elementary Summer School

    Posted by Aurora Meyer, APR on 7/7/2021

    Cedar Ridge Elementary School students created their own stegosaurus

     

    In kindergarten summer school at Cedar Ridge Elementary School, students spend time in the afternoon working on themes. Recently, teachers Miss McIntyre and Mrs. Wilson incorporated dinosaurs and gave students the chance to envision and design their own stegosaurus.

     

    Initially, the students reviewed nonfiction texts and discussed the differences between fiction and nonfiction. As the class discussed extinction and fossils, the vocabulary words took on new meaning when connected to dinosaurs. Students also learned about books containing a glossary with definitions of the vocabulary words.

     

    The class also read a book about the stegosaurus and what makes the stegosaurus unique. To create their own stegosaurus, the students traced their shoes as the outline. They then shared with the class the specific features of their dinosaur.

     

    The student-created stegosauruses were a variety of sizes and shapes, just like the real ones. 

    students traced their shoes as the outline for a stegosaurus

     

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  • Desert Island Hats

    Posted by Aurora Meyer, APR on 7/6/2021

    Mill Creek Elementary Summer School Desert Island Hats

    Mill Creek Elementary Summer School Third Graders spent an afternoon stranded on a deserted island and had to protect themselves by creating a hat from what they found.

     

    Janette Henry’s Mystery Science Lesson "Why do we Wear Clothes" was about more than sun protection, it focuses on properties and phases of matter, specifically what materials are used in clothing.

    Students pretended they arrived on the island in only their swimsuits and found a paper plate, aluminum foil, paper towel, paper bag and string to make sun protection. 

     

    “The kids loved the lesson,” Henry said. “They had to really think about how to make a hat for sun and water protection using very limited resources. Their hats were very creative.”

     

    Mill Creek Elementary Summer School Desert Island Hat project

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  • Building Bridges in multiple ways

    Posted by Aurora Meyer on 7/6/2021

    Mill Creek Elementary Summer School Bridge Project

    Mill Creek Elementary 5th grade teacher, Krista Baker’s summer school class worked together in teams to create some of the strongest bridges she has tested.

     

    The student designs don’t usually vary much, but this year some of my students had designs that tested the limits of what we could use for weights, she said.

    The project came from the Junk Box Challenge for 5th-grade summer school and the objective of this lesson is for students to work with a group to solve a problem, giving due credit to the ideas and contributions of each group member, cheer on other groups and discuss what they would do differently.

     

    Ms. Baker gave each student 200 popsicle sticks and two kinds of glue to build a bridge to span two desks. The students reviewed bridge designs and research options but spent most of the time on construction.

     

    As she assigned groups, Ms. Baker said she noticed the students were more creative in their designs and the teamwork aspect of the project needed more guidance than in years past.

     

    Once the student teams had a designated focus their ability to work together increased. The students began to form a more cohesive classroom bond as they tested the bridges.

     

    As team members added weight first using school supplies, the entire class cheered. When some bridges began to bend, or popsicle sticks popped under the weight everyone in the classroom collectively groaned and held their breath.

     

    Two bridges were able to withstand a significant number of items and Ms. Baker had to use textbooks to continue the test.

    When it came time to evaluate each team’s bridge construction and plans, several teams noted they would add supports or lay the sticks in an alternating pattern. They all gave credit to their team members.

     

    On paper the Junk Bok challenge is about forming and testing a physical bridge, however, for these students, the personal bridges were just as important this year.

    Mill Creek Elementary Summer School Bridge Junk Box Challenge

    Mill Creek Elementary Summer School Bridge Measurement

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  • Cyclone Academy Saves Rapunzel

    Posted by Aurora Meyer, APR on 7/6/2021

    Cyclone Academy Summer Students Save Rapunzel

    In the past, Cyclone Academy has been a summer school course where students spend two hours in a class working on improving math skills with one teacher and then two hours in a different class with a different teacher working to improve reading skills. 

     

    This summer that changed. Jennifer Huggins and Ryan Pingrey worked together to make Cyclone Academy "STEAMier.” 


    Ultimately, they split the total four total hours into thirds spending about 75 minutes in math, 75 minutes in reading and then a 75-minute in between the core subjects with both classes working together.

     

    During the in-between time, the students worked on a project that integrated math and reading with a focus on STEAM, building and working together. 

     

    The projects vary from week to week and each student group doesn't always finish the project by the end of the week, but the students have an opportunity to reflect on what they did accomplish, what they learned, and what they would have liked to do if they had more time. 

     

    Ms. Huggins selects a fairy tale each week. The student read the story on Monday and then Ms. Huggins has the class read alternative versions of the story.

     

    Together Ms. Huggins and Mr. Pingrey find a project that integrates math concepts so students can practice practical applications of the skills they are learning.

     

    “Students practice more of their math skills in the math-only part of the course, and we try and do the more applicable math that pops up ‘at the moment’ during the projects,” Mr. Pingrey said. 

     

    Recently the students brainstormed ways for the heroine in the Rapunzel story to get out of the tower without using her hair.

     

    Cyclone Academy Students Creatively Save Rapunzel 

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